Books to Read with Your Children for Native American Heritage Month


In the month of November, it’s important for us to honor and celebrate the culture and history of Native Americans. Through books and the power of storytelling, our children can learn more about the traditions and heritage; the influence on our culture today. So, here is a short list of books to read with your children for Native American Heritage Month:

Birdsong by Julie Flett

This illustrated story shows the friendship that a young girl develops with her elderly neighbor, who shares similar interests in nature and art. The Cree-Metis author and illustrator beautifully captures the inter-generational friendship.

Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians, by Aliki

Simple and beautiful, Aliki tells the story of how Native American farmers found and nourished a plant that eventually became an important crop with simple prose and colorful illustrations.

First Laugh, Welcome Baby by Rose Anna Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood 

This picture book is perfect to introduce preschoolers to Navajo traditions. The First Laugh Ceremony is hosted by the family member who can make the baby laugh first.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

This book shows the importance of Fry Bread, no only as a source of food, but as important  to a nation, identity, and art for different Native American cultures.

How The Stars Fell Into The Sky: A Navajo Legend by Jerrie Oughton

Filled with stunning illustrations, the folktale tells the story of how First Woman tried to make patterns in the night sky with the stars. However, a mischievous Coyote meddles with her star patterns, causing disorder.

Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell

This is an emotional and important story about when the U.S. government arbitrarily made certain Native American tribes no longer tribes without reservations or legal rights. It also shows the historical landscape of prejudice and stereotypes towards people of color.

Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith

This books follows the relationship between a young Cherokee-Seminole boy with his grandfather. They trade in the young boy’s favorite hightop sneakers for a pair of traditional moccasins. Most importantly, it shows how the two cultures integrate.

A Kid’s Guide To Native American History: More Than 50 Activities by Yvonne Wakim Dennis

This book breaks away from the cultural stereotypes of Native American identity. Instead, the crafts, art projects, and recipes explored are authentic and respectful to Native American communities.

Mary And The Trail Of Tears: A Cherokee Removal Survival Story by Andrea L. Rogers

This book is ideal for older children, telling the story of how a Cherokee family was forcibly removed from their home by American soldiers in Georgia in the 1800s. Told through the eyes of the daughter of the family, 12 year old Mary is proud of her heritage, adores her home, and is a sweet, likable girl.


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